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Is There Room At The Top?

Greetings Divas! And welcome to another week of grinding! I’ve got a very interesting and controversial topic to discuss with you. I know I may ruffle a few feathers on this one, but we’re all grown, and mature, and capable of spirited conversation, correct? That’s what I thought! So, here’s my question to you:

Do you think that women who have achieved a high level of success are adequately mentoring less senior women in their professions?

It’s a valid question right? This question arose as a result of a few conversations that I have had with friends and fellow Professional Divas. The overall sentiment seemed to be that highly successful women are not eager to mentor up-and-coming women in their professions for fear of being dethroned. (What!) These Divas seem to think that the women at their respective places of employment keep all of their jewels of success and advancement to themselves. They don’t make themselves available to teach, and they kind of take a “get to the top on your own like I did and stop asking for a hand out” type of attitude. I even heard one story where a less senior woman sought the advice of a seasoned female attorney regarding how to take a deposition, only to be scolded with a “didn’t you learn that in law school!” (I Can’t) So now here’s my other question:

Are seasoned women in Corporate America threatened by the new Diva on the block?

Another valid question! Before you answer this question, take a look at the relationships amongst the senior and junior men in your workplace. Aren’t they always helping each other out? Aren’t the senior men always willing to take a “protégé” under their wing, and show him the ropes, and help him inch up the corporate latter? Why is this concept so taboo for women? Well, I have an opinion, and here it is:

I think that accomplished women are of the mindset that they have fought extremely hard to achieve success in their respective field, often without the guidance and support that had been afforded their male counterparts. I think that these circumstances may create a feeling of isolation, and a little bit of resentment. In turn, the new Diva at the office bears the brunt of this resentment when she seeks to form a mentoring relationship with an accomplished female co-worker. It is also my opinion that this type of neck-biting is common, yet unnecessary. Each one, teach one, right?

Is there room at the top for more than one?

Of course there is! If there weren’t enough room, then why are there so many men coexisting together at the top? Sharing the success and wealth? And guess who is not up there with them? Women! Do you see my point? Yes, business is business, and as women we typically have to claw and fight our way to the top, but sharing a bit of wisdom with a junior female colleague can only enhance your fabulousness.

I know there are going to be quite a few people who disagree with me, and I’m okay with that! In fact, I would love to get the opinions of others on this issue. But let me leave you with a quick thought: Us Professional Divas lose credibility in a discussion regarding the lack of high-ranking women in any profession if we proactively divorce ourselves from mentoring one another. 

And on that note (as I step off my soapbox) what do you Divas think?

Random Act of Kindness!!!

Divas! I recently witnessed a random act of kindness that not only made me smile, but also motivated me to act on the feelings I was experiencing in that moment. Let me back up a little, and tell you about a phenomenal woman, who will remain nameless because I don’t know who she is! I was visiting the nail salon today for my bi-weekly mani/pedi. As I’m sitting in the chair getting my nails polished, I noticed a young woman sitting next to me getting a French manicure. She was noticeably excited about it! I even mentioned to her how pretty her nails looked (you know us ladies love to talk to strangers when we are getting pretty!). She beamed! She began talking to the nail technician, and was inquiring about the price for a matching pedicure. She soon realized that she did not have enough money to pay for a pedicure. Even though you could see how hurt she was, she smiled and said she would save up for a pedicure next time.

Less than a minute later, another female patron walked over to the nail technician who was polishing the young woman’s nails. The patron paid for her services, and then handed the nail technician an extra $20. The nail technician was confused! The patron then said:

“Here’s 20 dollars for her pedicure. I know how important a pedicure is for a woman and she should have one.” 

The patron turned around, and headed out the door. I was floored! This patron essentially paid for this young woman to get a pedicure, and then walked out the door like it was nothing! The young woman looked at me and said, “That was very nice of her. I never knew nice people like that existed.” I had tears in my eyes. This random act of kindness, as small as it was, made such a huge impact on the young woman’s confidence. It also brightened her spirits. The patron who footed the bill left too soon to see how special her gift was, and how much her kindness had affected me.

When I left the salon, I called a friend, who is also a publicist, to tell her about this act. I also told her what I was going to do to see that more women have a chance to experience the confidence that comes with a fresh mani/pedi, or a new hairstyle. These are all things that many of us take for granted because they are affordable to us, but what about the women who experience the “getting pretty” feeling once in a blue moon. Thanks to this random act of kindness, I have been motivated to act…..Stay Tuned!

Martini Break...Memorial Day Weekend Edition!!!

I love the smell of charcoal! Don’t judge me, but there’s something about the smell of charcoal coming off a grill that reminds me of warm weather. If you live anywhere in the Northeast like me, you know how desperate we are for warm weather…and it looks like it has finally arrived just in time for Memorial Day Weekend! I am definitely looking forward to the long weekend, and I am secretly hoping and praying that someone in my family hosts a barbeque at some point so that I can EAT. smell the charcoal!

No Summer barbeque is complete without a slice of juicy watermelon. The perfect natural dessert! The watermelon is the inspiration for this week’s recipe. The Watermelon Martini is delicious and refreshing, and perfect for your Memorial Day barbeque. It’s also easy to make, and definitely a crowd pleaser. Try it out, and let me know what you think!

3oz Your Favorite Vodka
3oz Fresh Watermelon Juice
2oz Watermelon Schnapps
½oz Lemon Juice
Thinly-sliced Watermelon Slice for Garnish

1. In advance, and in a juicer, prepare fresh watermelon juice.
2. In a shaker, combine vodka, watermelon juice, watermelon schnapps, and lemon juice, and ice. Shake!
3. Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass.
4. Garnish with watermelon slice.

Easy as 1,2,3……4! Enjoy your Watermelon Martini and you holiday weekend! Be safe and drink responsibly!

Networking...My Confession

 I almost didn’t write this post. Writing this post would mean that I would have to admit something to my fellow Professional Divas that I am a little bit ashamed to admit. I was so close to chickening out, and then I said to myself, “Self, you promised to be honest with your readers. Part of being honest is sharing your strengths and weaknesses. Stop being a wimp and just say it!” So…here I go!

Networking events scare the hell out of me…there I said it! Don’t judge me!

The truth is networking has always been a little bit stressful for me. I haven’t quite figured out why, but I recognize that I had to get over it…quickly! As some of you may know, I am an attorney by trade. In my profession, as well as with most professions, networking is both expected and necessary…but it hasn’t always come easy for me. I have a sneaking suspicion that my initial apprehension with networking has something to do with my days in retail. Whereas I needed the job as a sales associate at a major clothing store (and the discount), I always felt as if I was forcing the consumer to purchase something they really didn’t need in order to build more business for the store. I used to feel the same way about networking. I used to think that the point of networking was to force others to like me so that they would hire me and build more business for my company…I was dead wrong!

Once I recognized just how wrong I was, I changed my way of thinking. It was then I was able to realize how beneficial networking could be!  I stopped thinking of myself as a saleswoman, and decided to just be myself. I realized that the objective of networking is to communicate and exchange ideas and information for future employment, business, or personal relationships. This may be over-simplifying the true definition of networking, but this one works for me! It has also helped me to conquer my fear of networking.

As I slowly became more comfortable being at and participating in various networking events, I often reflected on those things that worked for me, as well as those things that didn’t go so well. This post is the result of those reflections. Now that I have shared my secret, I will also share a few tips for successful and meaningful networking.

Be Yourself – By far the most important thing to do during any networking event. You are fabulous, and should share your fabulousness with others. Be confident in your presentation of yourself.

Work the Room – Try to speak with a wide variety of individuals. While you should greet and catch up with those you know, try to meet 5 to 8 new individuals.

Be an Active Listener – Don’t just look like or pretend you’re listening to someone; actually listen to the individual actively. Make eye contact and ask follow up questions. Show genuine interest in the speaker. Believe me, people can tell when you’re not engaged.

Always Bring Business Cards – I know it’s hard to believe that someone would not remember the wonderfulness that is you. In the event that their memory is shot, be sure to have your business card handy. And don’t stick it in your huge purse or briefcase where it is not easily accessible. There’s nothing worse that holding someone up to look for your business card. May I suggest a business card case…a stylish one of course!

Dress appropriately – Make sure you are aware of the type of event you are attending, and the accompanying dress code. You don’t want to be caught at a golf outing in a skirt suit. Ok, that example is a little extreme, but you get the point!

Follow Up and Through – Be sure to follow up with the connections you made during the event. Also be sure to follow through with any promises you may have made.

These are just a few tips…certainly not all-inclusive. In the spirit of sharing, here are a few articles on networking. Also, be sure to add a few tips in the Comment section below.

Have a great night!

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